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Chapter 9

Nurturing Sexuality

By: James J Messina, Ph.D., CCMHC, NCC, DCMHS

MWO 9 Roster

9-1 How Well Do We Know One Another Sexually?

9-2 Increasing Our Sexual Awareness

9-3 Life Cycle Tasks For Healthy Sexuality

9-4 Debunking Some Marital Sexual Myths and Fallacies

9-5 What are Out Sexual Styles?

9-6 Follow-up Work-Out Plans for Our Sexuality

MWO 9 Prologue

 

• • • Josh found it increasingly difficult to warm up to Lois. He believed that by age 40 his sexual drive was on the wane. Lois never spoke about sex with Josh. She was always hesitant with Josh's sexual demands and was relieved with the reduction of Josh's sexual advances. Although the Durites had been together for eighteen years, they were sexually immature • • •

 

Sexual growth and maturity is important for marriages to work out. Taboos and myths about sexuality often obscure the sexual development of a couple. The exercises in this chapter are only a beginning to address marital sexuality. This chapter is in no way a complete sex manual. It would take a full book to ideally address marital sexuality. On the other hand, by collaborating on the following activities, you and your partner will be better able to nourish your sexuality.

 

9.1 How Well Do We Know One Another Sexually

 

The following exercise requires you to test your knowledge of your partner’s sexual needs, desires, interests, likes, dislikes and fantasies. Once you fill out Form A: About My Partner, then fill out Form B: About Myself. Once you and your partner have completed both Forms A and B independently, you both are then ready to compare your answers.

 

STEP 1: First Complete Form A and then Form B.

STEP 2: Follow the Directions for the Interpretation of this exercise when you are comparing your responses on Forms A and B.

 

Directions for Interpretation of How Well Do We Know One Another Sexually

 

1. Beginning with question #1, compare each other’s answers. Do this for each of the 50 questions.  Take your time.  Be sure to thoroughly discuss each item before proceeding to the next question.

 

2. As you proceed, be open and communicate fully about each issue, one at a time. Take at least 10 to 20 minutes per issue. As you can see, this is an extra-long exercise.

 

3. When you find an item where your answers differed, ask each other questions such as:

  • How different are our perceptions on this item?
  • What are some reasons why your response was different from mine?
  • What feelings or sentiments were being hidden when you responded to this item?
  • How does this item affect our sex lif e together?
  • How uncomfortable are you in discussing this issue with me?
  • How does our upbringing and background affect the way we answered this question?
  • What is it about your outward behaviors that led me to answer this question in the way I did?

 

4. Continue to review each question and your responses slowly. If you have items on which your perceptions were the same you might ask each other such questions as:

  • How compatible are our answers on this item?
  • How does our mutual sex life benefit from us agreeing in our perceptions on this question?
  • How does knowing how we both feel concerning this issue better our marital relation?
  • How sensitive are we really to each other's feelings on this issue?
  • How can we improve our sexual functioning now that we see we have the same perception on this issue?
  • What is it that we have problems with this issue? What is blocking us in dealing with it differently?
  • What steps can we take to alter the negative behavior which we both agree is bothering us?

 

5. As you proceed down the list create a TO DO list of sexual issues which you and your spouse have identified as needing further attention.

 

Our Sexuality TO DO List

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

 

6. As you proceed down the list of questions monitor your emotional tone during the discussion on each question:

  • Are you becoming defensive or aggressive? b. Are you timid, shy, or withdrawn?
  • Are you angry or outraged?
  • Are you hurt or offended?
  • Are you relaxed and comfortable or tense and rigid?
  • Are you surprised and/or astonished?
  • Are you turned on or turned off?

 

7. As you identify each other's emotional tone on each issue, ask yourselves the following questions?

  • Why are we feeling this way about this sexual issue?
  • What can we learn from1our emotional response?
  • How can we alter our negative feelings about this topic?
  • How sexually compatible are we?
  • How sexually attuned are we?
  • What does our emotional response say about our individual sexual maturity?
  • How successful are we in helping one another grow in our sexual development?

 

8. When you have completed reviewing each of the 50 questions and completed your sexual "TO DO" list, begin to set up a plan of action to complete this exercise by committing to address all of the items on your ''TO DO" list. To assist you further complete the remaining exercises in Chapter 9 of Marriage Work-out.

FORM A: About My Partner

 

True

False

 

 

 

1. My partner is comfortable being naked in front of me.

 

 

2. My partner likes to have sex with me in bed only.

 

 

3. My partner prefers to have sex at night.

 

 

4. My partner prefers to have sex only in the dark.

 

 

5. My partner is turned on by me when I'm partially clothed.

 

 

6. My partner desires multiple orgasm whenever we have sex.

 

 

7. My partner is bothered by body odors when we have sex.

 

 

8. My partner likes to have sex more than once a week.

 

 

9. My partner likes to have plenty of foreplay before we have intercourse.

 

 

10. My partner is turned on when I put my tongue on her/his genitals.

 

 

11. My partner is self-conscious over her/his body image.

 

 

12. My partner prefers to have lots of variety in our love making.

 

 

13. My partner enjoys oral sexual activity.

 

 

14. My partner enjoys masturbating occasionally.

 

 

15. My partner enjoys tender, light touches and stroking of her/his body during foreplay.

 

 

16. For wife: My husband enjoys fondling my breasts.

For husband: My wife enjoys fondling my penis.

 

 

17. My partner enjoys fondling my buttocks and my partner enjoys having his/her buttocks fondled.

 

 

18. My partner prefers having frontal sex.

 

 

19. My partner prefers to be quiet during our love making.

 

 

20. My partner prefers lots of kissing before, during and after lovemaking.

 

 

21. My partner prefers sexual positions in which s/he is usually the one on top.

 

 

22. My partner prefers the missionary position.

 

 

23. My partner enjoys taking a bath or shower with me.

 

 

24. My partner enjoys exotic forms of foreplay and lovemaking.

 

 

25. My partner finds that reading sex manuals and "how to" books stimulates her/his sexual response and performance.

 

 

26. My partner enjoys the use of a vibrator in our love making.

 

 

27. My partner can have sex with me even if we've been fighting that day.

 

 

28. My partner is concerned about inhibited female orgasm or premature ejaculation.

 

 

29. My partner is the one in the relationship who is solely responsible to provide the birth control we use.

 

 

30. My partner resents having any hostility between us brought up in our love making.

 

 

31. My partner resents sex being used as a weapon between us.

 

 

32. My partner would enjoy getting a body massage from me.

 

 

33. My partner doesn't feel complete in our love making unless we both have come to orgasm.

 

 

34. My partner is very "technique" conscious in our love making.

 

 

35. My partner would enjoy watching us in a mirror while we are having sex or enjoy the recorded session, when we are all through.

 

 

36. My partner would enjoy more aggression in our love making.

 

 

37. My partner has fantasy images at times of other people while we are making love.

 

 

38. My partner enjoys giving and receiving oral sex.

 

 

39. My partner feels we had healthy sex only if we have simultaneous orgasms.

 

 

40. My partner enjoys openly discussing our sex life with me.

 

 

41. My partner does not perform well sexually just after consuming alcoholic beverages

 

 

42. My partner’s sexual enjoyment is often lessened by the fear of an unwanted/unplanned pregnancy

 

 

43. My partner enjoys open displays of affection such as hugging, touching, holding, and kissing one another in public.

 

 

44. My partner is a very sensual being who is easily turned on.

 

 

45. My partner often fantasizes about having extramarital sexual   escapades.

 

 

46. My partner finds our current state of sexual intimacy lacking.

 

 

47. My partner worries excessively about getting older and how it will affect our sexual functioning.

 

 

48. My partner would enjoy exploring new ways to provide sexual pleasure to me.

 

 

49. My partner enjoys spontaneity in our sexual expression.

 

 

50. My partner believes that sexuality is more than just having sexual intercourse.

 

Now that you have completed FORM A go on to complete FORM B below:

FORM B – About Myself

True

False

 

 

 

1. I am comfortable being naked in front of my partner.

 

 

2. I like to have sex with my partner in bed only.

 

 

3. I prefer to have sex at night.

 

 

4. I prefer to have sex only in the dark.

 

 

5. I am turned on by my partner when s/he is partially clothed.

 

 

6. I desire multiple orgasm whenever we have sex.

 

 

7. I am bothered by body odors when we have sex.

 

 

8. I like to have sex more than once a week.

 

 

9. I like to have plenty of foreplay before we have intercourse.

 

 

10. I am turned on when my partner puts her/his tongue on my genitals.

 

 

11. I am self-conscious over my body image.

 

 

12. I prefer to have lots of variety in our love making.

 

 

13. I enjoy oral sexual activity.

 

 

14. I enjoy masturbating occasionally.

 

 

15. 1enjoy tender, light touches and stroking of my body during foreplay,

 

 

16. For wife: I enjoy my husband fondling my breasts.

For husband: I enjoy my wife fondling my penis.

 

 

17. I enjoy having my buttocks fondled and I enjoy fondling my partner's buttocks.

 

 

18. I prefer having frontal sex.

 

 

19. I prefer to be quiet during our love making.

 

 

20. I prefer lots of kissing before, during and after lovemaking.

 

 

21. I prefer the sexual position in which I am usually the one on top.

 

 

22. I prefer the missionary position.

 

 

23. I enjoy taking a bath or shower with my partner

 

 

24. I enjoy exotic forms of foreplay and lovemaking.

 

 

25. I find that reading sex manuals and "how to" books stimulates my sexual response and performance.

 

 

26. I enjoy the use of a vibrator in our love/making.

 

 

27. I can have sex with my partner even if we’ve been fighting that day.

 

 

28. I am concerned about inhibited female orgasm or premature ejaculation.

 

 

29. I am the one in the relationship who is solely responsible to provide the birth control we use.

 

 

30. I resent having any hostility between us brought up in our love making.

 

 

31. I resent sex being used as a weapon between us.

 

 

32. I would enjoy getting a body massage from my partner.

 

 

33. I do not feel complete in our love making unless we both have come to orgasm.

 

 

34. I am very “technique” conscious in our love making.

 

 

35. I would enjoy watching us in a mirror while we are having sex or enjoy the recorded session when we are all through.

 

 

36. I would enjoy more aggression in our love making.

 

 

37. I have fantasy images at times of other people while we are making love.

 

 

38. I enjoy giving and receiving oral sex.

 

 

39. I feel like we have healthy sex only if we have simultaneous orgasms.

 

 

40. I enjoy openly discussing our sex life with my partner.

 

 

41. I do not perform well sexually just after consuming alcoholic beverages.

 

 

42. My sexual enjoyment is often lessened by the fear of an unwanted/unplanned pregnancy.

 

 

43. I enjoy open displays of affection such as hugging, touching, holding, and kissing one another in public.

 

 

44. I am a very sensual being who is easily turned on.

 

 

45. I often fantasize about having extramarital sexual escapades.

 

 

46. I find our current state of sexual intimacy lacking.

 

 

47. I worry excessively about getting older and how it will affect our sexual functioning.

 

 

48. I would enjoy exploring new ways to provide sexual pleasure to my partner.

 

 

49. I enjoy spontaneity in our sexual expression.

 

 

50. I believe that sexuality is more than just having sexual intercourse

 

Once you have completed FORM A and FORM B go back to the start of this chapter and follow the directions in STEP TWO for your couple interpretation of this exercise.

 

In your Journal Record Your Personal Notes on this Exercise

9-2 Increasing our Sexual Awareness

Now that you have completed the first exercise in this Chapter - on Sexuality, you both have a better understanding of each other's feelings about sex. The following self-report exercise will add to your increased sexual awareness. Do these three activities first on your own, then, just as you did in exercise 9-1, go over each item with your partner and compare your answers and discuss your results.

 

I. Please answer the following questions as they best describe you. There are no right or wrong answers. Write the number for your rate of frequency that best applies to you.

 

1 = Almost Never         2 = Sometimes           3 = Often               4 = Almost Always

           

Rating

 

 

[1] It turns me off when people talk openly about sexual issues.

 

[2] I think homosexuals should keep their sexual preferences private.

 

[3] Sex roles are learned behaviors.

 

[4] I am comfortable with my own sexuality.

 

[5] Pictures of male and female genitalia are offensive to me.

 

[6] I expect my partner to take most of the responsibility in our sexual relationship.

 

[7] I avoid talking about sex with my partner.

 

[8] I avoid facing up to my sexual problems or hang ups.

 

[9] I feel guilty about my own sexuality.

 

[10] I feel comfortable with my ability to sustain my sexual relationship with my spouse.

 

[11] I feel that sex education should be available in the schools.

 

[12] Individuals' sex roles (male or female) determine their lifestyle.

 

[13] In my sexual relationship with my spouse, I take on most of the responsibility myself.

 

[14] I consider human sexuality an important issue for marital success.

 

[15] I would like to learn more about sexual problems.

 

[16] I avoid thinking about my own sexuality.

 

[17] Friendships with people of the opposite sex will lead to sex.

 

[18] When I have a sexual problem, I prefer to work it out on my own.

 

[19] If given the opportunity, I would participate in a sexuality awareness group.

 

[20] I accept people who openly admit to being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

 

[21] I avoid talking about sexuality in a mixed group.

 

[22] A commitment of love is importan in establishing a sexual relationship.

 

[23] I am uncomfortable discussing sexual disorders and abnormalities.

 

[24] It is healthy to have friendly relationships with people of the opposite sex.

 

[25] I discuss responsibilities and expectations with my partner concerning our sexuality.

 

II. Answer the next questions T if True and F if False

 

T or F

 

 

[26] Sexual intercourse is very personal and should not be talked about with others outside of our relationship. It turns me off when people talk openly about sexual issues.

 

[27 If our sex life is good, the rest of our relationship will be good.

 

[28] We can improve our sexual relationship in marriage by using a variety of positions and techniques.

 

[29] If we are not caring and open in our daily life, our sexual relationship can still be good.

 

[30] We should be careful not to talk too much about our sexual relationship with one another.

 

[31] My ideas about birth control are not closely related to my partners.

 

[32] Only husbands should initiate love making.

 

[33] Sex has been played up too much. It is not all that important in a good marriage.

 

[34] Sex manuals are pornographic.

 

[35 It is better to make love in the dark.

 

III. Please rate each one of these topics on all four of the seven-point scales. First, read the underlined word, then circle the number which you feel best indicates where that item falls on each of the scales.

 

[36] Sexual Relationships

Healthy

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Sick

Dirty

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Clean

Meaningful

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Meaningless

Ugly

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Beautiful

 

[37] Sexuality

Healthy

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Sick

Dirty

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Clean

Meaningful

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Meaningless

Ugly

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Beautiful

 

[38] Masturbation

Healthy

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Sick

Dirty

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Clean

Meaningful

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Meaningless

Ugly

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Beautiful

 

[39] Homosexuality

Healthy

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Sick

Dirty

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Clean

Meaningful

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Meaningless

Ugly

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Beautiful

 

[40] Penis

Healthy

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Sick

Dirty

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Clean

Meaningful

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Meaningless

Ugly

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Beautiful

 

[41] Orgasm

Healthy

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Sick

Dirty

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Clean

Meaningful

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Meaningless

Ugly

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Beautiful

 

[42] Menstruation

Healthy

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Sick

Dirty

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Clean

Meaningful

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Meaningless

Ugly

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Beautiful

 

[43] Vagina

Healthy

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Sick

Dirty

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Clean

Meaningful

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Meaningless

Ugly

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Beautiful

 

[44] Birth Control

Healthy

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Sick

Dirty

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Clean

Meaningful

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Meaningless

Ugly

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Beautiful

 

[45] Intercourse

Healthy

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Sick

Dirty

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Clean

Meaningful

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Meaningless

Ugly

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Beautiful

 

[46] Bi-Sexuality

Healthy

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Sick

Dirty

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Clean

Meaningful

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Meaningless

Ugly

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Beautiful

 

[47] Extra-Marital Sex

Healthy

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Sick

Dirty

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Clean

Meaningful

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Meaningless

Ugly

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Beautiful

 

 

[48] Sexual Fantasies

Healthy

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Sick

Dirty

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Clean

Meaningful

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Meaningless

Ugly

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Beautiful

 

 

[49] Transgender Sexuality

Healthy

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Sick

Dirty

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Clean

Meaningful

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Meaningless

Ugly

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Beautiful

 

[50] Nudity around the House

Healthy

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Sick

Dirty

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Clean

Meaningful

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Meaningless

Ugly

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Beautiful

 

Now that you have completed this self-report, share your results with your spouse. Then once you have looked at all your responses and discussed your different views on each point, consider these questions.

 

Suggested Discussion Questions

1. Is sexuality only the physical act of intercourse? If not, what is it?

 

2. How do I promote my partner’s and my sexuality in this marriage?

 

3. What are the barriers to our full expression of our sexuality in this marriage?

 

4. From where do we get our sexual values and attitudes?

 

5. What can we do to make our sexual life a better one for us both?

 

6. What do I need to work on or change which hinders my full sexual expression in this relationship?

 

7. What information or knowledge am I needing in order to grow sexually with my partner?

 

8. Why is sex such a difficult subject to openly discuss with my partner?

 

9. Why is it that sex seems to be the only good thing we share or have as a couple?

 

10. How well are we doing as role models of healthy sexuality for our children? What are those things we need to work on as a couple to improve our mutual sexuality role modeling for our children?

 

In your Journal Record Your Personal Notes on this Exercise

9-3 Life Cycle Tasks for Healthy Sexuality

 

The following is a list of tasks which most individuals should have mastered or experienced in order to have a healthy sexuality. Read over the list carefully. Then check those items which were lacking in your life or have yet to be experienced. Do this independently from your partner. Share your results when you complete the exercise:

 

I. Conception: When I was conceived, the following were present:

  • A loving relationship existed between the couple who conceived me.
  • The couple had a commitment towards permanence in their relationship.
  • I was a wanted pregnancy for the couple.
  • I was a planned pregnancy for the couple.
  • My mother's womb environment was physically healthy and ready.

 

II. Pregnancy: When my mother was pregnant with me:

  • I was provided adequate nourishment by my mother.
  • A sound emotional womb environment was provided by my parents.
  • A stress-free womb environment was provided by my parents.
  • My mother's pregnancy was a shared parental experience by my parents.
  • I was a full term baby with no medical complications.

 

III. Birth: When I was born:

  • My birth was a shared parental experience by my parents.
  • My healthy delivery was shared by my parents.
  • My birth was a joyful experience for both of my parents.
  • My new home was prepared for my arrival by both of my parents.

 

IV. Birth - 2 Years:  Between my birth and becoming a toddler:

  • My awareness of self was encouraged by my parents.
  • My body awareness was stimulated by my parents.
  • My awareness of others was encouraged by my parents.
  • I was able to give accurate recognition of my body parts.
  • I was able to label my body parts with accurate names.
  • Acceptance of my nude body by my parents and me was possible.

 

V. 2 - 5 Years: Before I entered elementary school:

  • I was able to make identification of my body processes.
  • My toilet training was healthy, spontaneous and appropriate.
  • I made accurate labeling of bodily processes and avoided use of slang.
  • Good hygiene of my body was encouraged and expected by my parents.
  • I was given a recognition of the role of interpersonal human relationship in life.
  • I was given an identification of human feelings and trained to recognize them in myself and in others.
  • I was given responsible child management and discipline by my parents.
  • Accepting of personal responsibility for my own actions was encouraged by my parents.

 

VI. 5 Years – Pre-Adolescent Years: When I was in elementary and middle school:

  • I recognized and accepted the sexual differences between boys and girls.
  • I recognized and accepted the need for self-esteem, peer recognition, security, achievement and altruism.
  • I recognized the need to give, to share with, to be open with, and to respect others.
  • I was prepared for the physical changes which were to occur in my body soon.
  • I had an understanding of sexual stereotypes and roles in society.
  • I had an understanding of social roles in family, peer group, school and community.
  • I recognized the need for responsible sexual relationships.
  • I had accurate information shared with me on masturbation, virginity, STD’s, birth control, etc.

 

VII. Adolescent Years (13 - 22): When I was in junior high school, high school and college:

  • I made responsible exploration of sexual and interpersonal relationships.
  • I had a recognition of commitment to others in sexual relations and all of its incumbent consequences.
  • I received prevocational and vocational training to prepare myself to accept the consequences of reproductivity (eg. trained to get a job to work in order to raise children).
  • I nurtured and established healthy and responsible relationships with members of the opposite sex.
  • I was able to accept the alternative sexual orientations of others.

 

VII. Establishment Years (22 – 50): After I was gainfully employed and married:

  • I have experienced an enriching sexual experience in a love-committed interpersonal relationship with my spouse.
  • I provide role modeling of a responsible sexual relationship to our younger generation.
  • I am able to address and remediate sexual dysfunctioning if it occurs.
  • I am preparing myself for future physiological and psychological changes due to age, medical issues, etc.
  • I recognize the impact of career, leisure, recreation and interpersonal relationships on adequate sexual functioning and vice versa.
  • I believe in and practice responsible conception, pregnancy, delivery and rearing of children.

 

IX. Declining Years (50+): Once my family is grown and I retire:

  • I assume in my grand parenting role as a modeling of adequate sexual functioning.
  • I have made realistic plans in handling of pre-retirement and retirement realities in view of sexual functioning.
  • I have accepted menopause and its consequences.
  • I am able to share the wisdom of years to our younger generations.

 

This model assumes we are looking at an individual's sexual development from womb to tomb. All of the phases of the life cycle depend on adequate meeting of the goals in the previous stage of development.

 

Suggested Discussion Questions

 

1. What does it mean to my sexuality if my parents did not enable me to accomplish the necessary tasks for healthy sexuality in my early years?

 

2. What steps can we take in our relationship to remediate the absence of the accomplishment of these tasks in my early life?

 

3. How are we preparing ourselves for future changes in our sexual functioning?

 

4. Are we good (or will we be good)role models of healthy sexual functioning for our children?  If not, how can we change this?

 

5. How can we judge how normal and healthy our sexuality is?

 

6. Are we doing everything we can to ensure ongoing sexual maturity in one another? If not, what plan of action can we come up with to change this?

 

7. Are some of our current sexual difficulties related to the non-accomplishment of certain life cycle tasks for healthy sexuality?

 

8. What impact on our current life has our past sexual development had?

 

9. How comfortable are we in talking with our parents about our sexuality and the impact of the life cycle tasks on it?

 

10. How open are we in talking with our children about their sexuality life cycle tasks?

 

In your Journal Record Your Personal Notes on this Exercise

9-4 Debunking Some Marital Sexual Myths and Fallacies

 

This is a list of commonly held beliefs that are untrue. Some of these myths are still perpetuated by peers and educators, who act out of their own lack of knowledge, fears or embarrassment. Read these out loud together. See how many of these myths you or your partner believe(d). When you are done reading, jointly discuss the questions which follow.

 

Myth

Reality

1) Men’s nocturnal emissions (wet dreams) indicate a sexual disorder.

Nocturnal emissions in men are another form of natural sexual outlet.

2) Women do not experience nocturnal orgasms.

Women do experience nocturnal orgasms. Research indicates that women of all age groups, married or single, have an average of three to four such dreams a year.

3) Ejaculation and orgasm in men are one and the same phenomenon.

Ejaculation and orgasm do not mean the same thing Ejaculation is the process of semen being discharged in a spurting motion through and out of the penis. Ejaculation usually occurs during an orgasm. Orgasm is the highly pleasurable and distinct sensation which is the climax of sexual excitement.

4) Simultaneous orgasms are more satisfactory than those experienced separately and are necessary for sexual compatibility in a relationship.

Simultaneous orgasms are not necessarily more satisfactory, nor are they necessary in a relationship. The concentration put on having a simultaneous orgasm can be the cause of less pleasure for the people involved.

5) Sexologists are in agreement that orgasms are different for males and females.

Orgasm, in males and females, is essentially the same. It is a pleasurable peak of sexual tension and its release.

6) Diminishing function of the sex glands Signals the end of the sex life for both men and women.

The sex life in men and women whose sex gland functioning is diminishing remains as it was before. Older men and women are often still capable sexually even into their 80's.

7) Impotence in old men is always due to physical reasons.

When old men become impotent, it is in most cases, due to psychological factors.

8) A large penis is important to a woman's sexual gratification.

It is quality not quantity that counts. Most of a woman's sexual excitement comes from clitoral (and the surrounding area) stimulation and since the vagina has very few nerve endings, the size of a man’s penis does not have much to do with a woman’s sexual gratification.

9) The man with a large penis is more sexually potent than the man with a small penis.

The size of a penis has nothing to do with sexual potency.

10) Sexual intercourse should be avoided during pregnancy.

The fetus is well protected and cannot be hurt during intercourse. Additionally, the cervical plug of mucus prevents anything from entering the uterus and causing infection.

11) Alcohol is a sexual stimulant.

Alcohol is a sexual depressant and it not a sexual stimulant.

12) Sterilization reduces the sex drive of a man or woman.

Sterilization does not reduce the sex drive in men or women. In women, there may be an increase in the sex drive since the fear of pregnancy is removed. Sterilization in some men may cause an unconscious concern about masculinity.

13) Menopause or hysterectomy terminates a woman's sex life.

Menopause or hysterectomy will not terminate a woman's sex life. In fact, it may increase since the fear of pregnancy is gone.  A hysterectomy could decrease the sex drive because of hormone imbalance, but this can be corrected through hormone supplements.

14) Sex drive and ability decrease between ages 40 to 50.

Sexual desires and abilities do not markedly decrease with age.

15) The woman determines the sex of the child.

The sex of a child is determined by the male parent and depends upon whether a sperm containing an X chromosome fertilized the egg.

16) Having only one testicle reduces a man's ability to fertilize an egg to help conceive a child

The sperm produced by one testicle is more than enough to fertilize an egg to help conceive a child

17) A breast-feeding mother cannot become pregnant again as long as she continues to nurse her baby.

Breast-feeding tends to delay ovulation and menstruation, however, a woman may ovulate before her first postpartum menstrual flow. One in twenty women become pregnant again before their first period following childbirth.

18) Oral/genital sex between a man and a woman indicates homosexual tendencies.

Fellatio and cunnilingus are methods of natural sexual expression.

19) The man who enjoys having his nipples stimulated has suppressed homosexual desires.

Nipples, like other parts of the body, are erogenous zones, which are sexually pleasurable for almost everyone who allows them to be so.

20) Masturbation can cause a number of physical manifestations, including: warts, hair on the palms of the hand, pimples, acne, and ultimately impotence.

Masturbation can cause orgasms in women and orgasm and ejaculation in men

21) Masturbation is a habit of the young and immature. The practice typically ceases after men and women enter into a relationship.

The better educated people in a relationships are, the more likely they are to masturbate. Mutual masturbation is satisfying when one partner can't perform coitus (such as in illness or after childbirth) and for a number of people, it is a large part of the sexual act

22) Unusual or excessive sexual practices can lead to mental breakdowns.

Unusual and/or excessive sexual practices can lead to mental breakdowns if the person doing the acts feels guilty about what s/he is doing.

23) Vaginal-penile intercourse is the only normal method of sexual relations.

Normal sexual relations are whatever the persons involved willingly agree upon.

24) Women who have strong sex drives, come to easy climax, and are capable of multiple orgasm are nymphomaniacs.

Women who have strong sex drives, come to easy climax, and are capable of multiple orgasm are women with normal, healthy sexual appetites.

25) If one partner desires sex more often than the other, nothing can be done to make the couple sexually more compatible.

Increased communication, cooperation and mutual empathetic responsiveness can occur. These are areas that can be dealt with in a loving marriage and partnership.

 

Suggested Discussion Questions

 

1. How have any of these myths affected our sexuality in. the past?

 

2. How will our couple sexuality be affected if we don't question commonly held beliefs of our partner?

 

3. What risks are involved in confronting my partner with faulty• sexuality beliefs or practices?

 

4. What behaviors do I join in.which perpetuate faulty thinking in our couple sexuality?

5. How uncomfortable was it to read out loud this section with my partner?

 

6. How challenged do I f eel when I realize that something I believe to be true is really a commonly held myth or fallacy?

 

7. What would I 1ike to see changed in my partner's approach to sexuality?

 

8. What do I need to change in my approach to sexuality?

 

9. What can we do f or each other to make our mutual growth in full sexuality easier and more comfortable?

 

10. How do I feel about this exercise? Did it help or inhibit my acceptance of our couple sexuality?

 

In your Journal Record Your Personal Notes on this Exercise

9-5 What are Our Sexual Styles?

 

Now that you have identified issues which will affect your couple sexuality, this last exercise is intended to help you both identify your sexual styles. Sex Therapists provide for us the description of eight different sexual styles identified as a result of research in their field. Read each description and check the description if it is generally true for you. Do this for all of the ten (10) descriptions for each of the styles. Once you have read all eight (8) styles then proceed with the interpretation and discussion of this exercise with your partner.

 

Pansexual

  • I get a lot out of life,
  • I am happy in all aspects of my life.
  • I like myself and the way my body looks.
  • I have sex frequently with my spouse.
  • I believe I am a great lover.
  • I find it easy to talk to my partner about sex.
  • I am very sensual and aroused by traditional foreplay, (kissing, hugging, tongue kissing, hands on breast, mouth to breast).
  • I enjoy pornography, erotic fantasy and oral sex.
  • I masturbate frequently.
  • Sex is very important to me.

 

Satisfied Neurotic

  • To be aroused I need special stimulation.
  • I am intense about my sexual experimentation.
  • I especially like fantasy, pornography and other erotic activities.
  • I am particular about what I need to complete the sex act,
  • Kissing and hugging and other sensual activities do little for me.
  • I am happy with myself.
  • I have sex often with my partner.
  • I masturbate frequently.
  • I am happy with my marriage.
  • I am happy with my life.

 

Unsatisfied Neurotic

  • I take sex where ever I can get it.
  • Sex is very important to me.
  • I am unhappy with my sex life.
  • I am unhappy with my life in general.
  • I am not happy with the way I look.
  • I am aroused by both sensual and erotic activities:
  • I am more likely to masturbate than have sex with my partner.
  • I want sex frequently, but cannot get it.
  • I seek arousal by any means.       
  • It has been difficult for me to find a partner with similar sexual tastes and needs.

 

Lonely Erotic

  • I am a lonely y person.
  • I respond more to sexual imagery (fantasy) depictions (pornography) and certain sexual activities than my sexual partner.
  • I have (and had) difficulty forming relationships.
  • My main sexual outlet is masturbation.
  • I get nothing out of foreplay.
  • I am unhappy with my marriage
  • I am unhappy with my life in general.
  • I am unhappy with my sex life.
  • I dislike my body.
  • I find it difficult to talk about sex

 

Satisfied Sensualist

  • I am happy with my life.
  • I am happy with my sex life.
  • I am happy with my marriage partner.
  • I love to snuggle up to my partner.
  • I love to kiss, fondle and hug.
  • Traditional foreplay is sufficiently arousing prior to intercourse for me.
  • Erotic sexual activities (i.e. pornography; fantasy, oral sex) turn me off.
  • I have sex frequently with my partner.
  • It is important to be in love with the person I am making love with.
  • I find it easy to talk to my partner about sex

 

Unsatisfied Sensualist

  • Sex is not central in my life
  • I am happy with my marriage.
  • I am happy with myself.
  • I do not find most foreplay arousing.
  • I am usually turned off by most foreplay.
  • I have frequent intercourse with my partner.
  • I am satisfied with the frequency of sex in my marriage.
  • I feel its' important for a married couple to work together to make each other happy.
  • I infrequently talk about sex with my partner.
  • I like who I am.

 

Sexually Conservative

  • I am very unhappy with my life.
  • I am very unhappy with my body.
  • I do not have sex on a frequent basis with my partner.
  • I am unaroused by any sexual stimulation.
  • I am unaroused by even the most erotic stimulation.
  • I find that I am very "uptight" when it comes to sex.
  • I have little or no interest in sex.
  • I dislike discussing sex with my partner.
  • I worry about what effect the lack of sex is having on our marriage.
  • I am not completely happy with my married life.

 

Nonsexual

  • I am unhappy with my life.
  • I am unhappy with my body.
  • I do not have sex frequently.
  • I am unaroused by any sexual stimulation.
  • Even the most erotic sexual stimulation does not arouse me.
  • I have no interest in sex.
  • I never talk about sex with my partner.
  • I am not concerned about the lack of sex in my life.
  • I am not completely happy with myself or my marriage.
  • The thought of sex makes me uptight.

 

Which of the eight sexual styles best describes your sexual expression, your thoughts and feelings about sex, what arouses you and what doesn't and your actual sexual activity?

 

Sex Therapists have identified three traits which combine to make a sexual style.            The traits and their description are:

 

1. Life Satisfaction: Life satisfaction is measured by how people feel about their lives, in general, their sex life, marriage and their bodies. This trait is also dependent on how easy it is for people to talk about sex with their partners, how skilled a lover they are and, how often they have intercourse.

 

2. Sensuality:  Sensuality is measured by how aroused a person is in response to either hugging, kissing, hands on breasts, mouth to breast, tongue kissing, or genital touching.

 

3. Eroticism: Eroticism is measured by how aroused a person is in response to either pornography,            erotic fantasy, mouth or genital contact or anal sex.   It is also determined by how strong the sex drive is, if sex is important to the person and how frequently a person masturbates.

A combination of these three traits determines the sexual style. The following is the combination of the three traits for each of the eight sexual styles:

 

Style

Name

Traits

A

Pansexual

High - Life Satisfaction

High - Sensuality

High - Eroticism

B

Satisfied Erotic

High - Life Satisfaction

Low  - Sensuality

High - Eroticism

C

Unsatisfied Erotic

Low  - Life Satisfaction

High - Sensuality

High - Eroticism

D

Lonely Erotic

Low - Life Satisfaction

Low – Sensuality

High - Eroticism

E

Satisfied Sensualist

High - Life Satisfaction

High - Sensuality

Low  - Eroticism

F

Unsatisfied Sensualist

Low  - Life Satisfaction

High - Sensuality

Low  - Eroticism

G

Sexually Conservative

High - Life Satisfaction

Low - Sensuality

Low - Eroticism

H

Nonsexual

Low -  Life Satisfaction

Low – Sensuality

Low -  Eroticism

 

Based on the combinations above which combination best describes your sexual style? Your partner’s sexual style?

 

Suggested Discussion Questions

 

Once you are satisfied with which sexual style best describes you, proceed to compare your style with that of your partner's. Consider these questions:

 

1. How do our sexual styles differ?

 

2. How are our sexual styles similar?

 

3. What impact do our different or similar sexual styles have on our marital sexual life? 

 

4. What insight into our sexual behavior does this exercise offer?

 

5. In looking at the three traits which make up a sexual style, how does life satisfaction influence our sexual compatibility?

 

6. How does our sensuality affect our sexual relationship?

 

7. How does our eroticism affect our sexual relationship?

 

8. How could we assist one another to alter our sexual styles so that they could be more compatible?

 

9. What are the negative consequences of ignoring our sexual styles in our relationship?

 

10. What are the benefits to be gained in our marital relationship by being more conscious of each other’s sexual styles?

 

In your Journal Record Your Personal Notes on this Exercise

9-6 Follow-up Work-Out Plans for Our Sexuality


As a result of our exercises, discussions, and efforts in this chapter of our Marriage Work-Out on Nurturing Sexuality with each other, we have come up with this action plan to continue and follow up the health enhancing what we have just completed.

I. Nurturing Our Sexuality Needs

The following are needs which we still have to address to fully achieve full health in the sexuality aspect of our marital relationship:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

 

II. Strategic Steps towards Growth in Sexuality

The following are specific steps we will take to address our needs to improve our sexuality:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

 

III. Personal Responsibility Taking

The following are the things I will specifically do to ensure that we as a couple continue to grow in the sexuality area of our relationship:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

 

IV. Evaluation of Action Plan for Making Time for Each Other

We will know we have achieved our goal to grow in making time for each other by the following measurable behavioral changes:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10

 

We agree to the above Marriage Work-Out plan for nurturing our sexuality.

 

_________________________                ___________________________

My signature                                            My partner's signature

 

_________________________                ____________________________

Date                                                           Date